A more cynical mother
would have said,
“Never play a game without a clock.”

But in those soft, long
dew-damp evenings of summer,
I watched the late innings

Turn into a stage
for your hopes of one perfect,
joyous chance to shine.

Once, oh, just once, as the score
Crept higher still, you would get
The nod from coach

And stroll casually –
as if you’d been there thousands of times –
to the plate

Never minding the long shadows
creeping past the visor
that concealed the bliss

Of the moment.
Finally you would reach through
the dim evening haze

Take a long breath
And try to remember the feeling
of being a part of this.

I would wait forever
in the summer dusk
for such a chance.